5,000 event WiFi users consumed 1TB of data in 4 days

I wanted to document this separately just so I’ve got a record of it. If you think that event WiFi is one of those ‘meh, maybe’ things that nobody bothers using, think again.

Have a read of this:

According to Max Wi-Fi, 989GB of data was transferred over the four days across nearly 5,000 devices. Of these, 85 per cent were iPhones and iPads. The public Wi-Fi provided at the show accounted for nearly 70 per cent of all data transferred, while the remainder was transferred over exhibitor and production networks. On average, 6.5MB of data was transferred per second.

via Wi-Fi users chalk up 1TB at London Frieze Art Fair | Exhibition News.

Now. We’re not talking about some all-singing, all-dancing tech show. No, this was at an art event! Impressive.

And you know what, I don’t blame those iPhone/iPad users. If there’s a fast connection made available, I’d rather use that than my patchy 3G service.

NB: Good work Max WiFi.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

6 replies on “5,000 event WiFi users consumed 1TB of data in 4 days”

989 gigabytes / 5,000 devices = 202.5472 megabytes/device

So that’s 50 megabytes per device per day. I continually fail to see why you make such a big fuss over WiFi at conferences. People go to those things to interact with each other, network, etc., not sit in a corner and check their email and Facebook and other social network bullshit.

Hi Stefan

I was at an events the other day (ExCeL). I spent *hours* talking to people, checking out demos, collecting schwag etc etc. But for probably 15 minutes, over a coffee, I checked my work email via iPad, using the free WiFi as 3G was soooo ropey. The nature of my work means I shouldn’t (and don’t) let messages sit cooling in my inbox for long. That email exchange included a bunch of files from overseas colleagues, referencing updated Sharepoint docs, which – yay for iOS apps – had sync’d in the background (using the Shareplus client) by the time I got to read the emails telling me to check them out.

My point being, out of maybe 5hrs ‘on the floor’ I spent 15 minutes ‘in the corner’, during which I would have easily eaten up 50MB of WiFi. Anyone with iOS5 will have had their device probably background syncing too, without doing a thing. I didn’t use FB, or Twitter, or any SNS. But If I HAD, I would probably have been sharing what I considered to be interesting/relevant stuff related to the event, likely to be of interest to my followers/friends. Which could have lead to any number of developments.

So please don’t correlate event data usage with head-up-own-arse navel-gazing ūüėČ


I love to hear stories like yours, but¬†experience¬†tells me otherwise. Back when I was doing the conference circuit, all I saw around me were people¬†absolutely¬†locked into their glowing rectangles, not even bothering to strike a conversation with the person sitting next to them. If I ever hosted my own conference I’d proudly advertise that it’s for people who can go a few hours without an internet connection.

Just last month I happened to be in Oslo at an event Opera (the browser vendor) was hosting and I was sitting next to someone who had a laptop, iPad, and iPhone spread out in front of him, switching between all three screens every minute or so. I was covering the event with a pad of paper and a pen. He looked at me as if I was absolutely fucking ridiculous, and I likewise returned the puzzled look.

Kinda… I normally go either to blog it or some news being announced or on behalf of my team at work. Either way sharing what’s said / shown there without too much pain is fairly crucial.

I still carry a Moleskine – I feel that in a meeting, taking notes on an iPad, even handwritten, is still too out-there for most. I’d hate people to feel I was one step away from checking Twitter or FB while they were talking. I’d love to use a handwriting recognition app that could put my notes into text for subsequent emailing / filing / taggng, and have played around with a few apps but none that are that good as to replace pen/paper. Plus a Moleskine never runs out of batteries.

I saw a thing in a HK gadget shop that you clip onto your notebook/pad (the paper kind), it has a pen that you can physically write with but it also tracks the pen (optically, bluetoothily, no idea), storing your text which you download later on for OCR scanning / filing / emailing etc. It was around $100 though, with no try-before-you-buy option.

The quest continues…

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